The changing landscape of technology is proving to be a large
factor in family disputes, with a recent study by Victorian based
research centre 'SmartSafe' finding that 80% of domestic
violence workers reported that smart phones and related technology
are being used to track, stalk and harass partners. This research
also indicated that of surveyed abuse victims, over 80% have
received text messages that have made them feel afraid and over 60%
believe they have been tracked using their phone.
The ACT has launched a new program to train workers in domestic
violence to respond to forms of technological abuse.
ACT Minister for Women, Yvette Berry, said "We know that
technology can help women and their children to successfully leave
violence by assisting them to contact specialist domestic violence
services...Sadly, perpetrators can use this same technology to
track and continue their abuse."
The program is designed to train workers in how to better handle
technological abuse, as well as raise awareness in the areas that
people should be cautious when using technology. Technological
abuse is commonly seen in the forms of:
Large amounts of phones calls that are threatening or
Repetitive text or social media messages
Using smart phone applications or social media to track
Uploading spyware to smart phones to monitor the user's
Many of these concerns can be addressed by monitoring who has
access to your phone, maintaining secure passwords, improving
privacy settings on social media websites and applications, and
disabling the GPS function on your smart phone when it is not
required. IT experts are also able to scan phones to check for any
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Sect.117 can deal with false statements and knowingly making false allegations of violence could justify a costs order.
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